A Journey to Massage, Spa, Health and Wellness
By Eunice

It was in the early months of 2000. I have been coughing for the past one month but have no signs and symptoms of having tuberculosis or pneumonia aside from consistent cough and a painful back. I just returned to my position working as a travel and timeshare sales and marketing executive for the past three years and I was thinking that maybe it was due to the very cold temperature inside the hotel. Everyday it was like winter inside the presentation area and because all of our directors were Westerners, we were stuck in a position where all of us have to adjust to their preferences in temperature and corporate culture. I can no longer ignore what I was feeling so I went straight to a pulmonologist and decided to submit myself to an examination. Medical history was taken and the specialist decided to have my sputum and X-ray checked just in case. Both results were normal except that I have dextro-scoliosis for which the pulmonologist referred me to another specialist- this time an orthopedic doctor who told me that my condition cannot be helped any other means except by surgery. Feeling dismayed that medicine cannot help me with my condition, I sought also the help of my friend who was a physical/occupational therapist and yes, she verified that the only solution to scoliosis is surgery. But I can also help myself not to make it worse, she said. She gave me exercise movements to be done everyday so my condition will not worsen. So, reluctantly I have accepted my condition. While I was searching online for a cure, I found that massage can alleviate symptoms so I have tried it and it helped ease my back pains. So, I started to look at massage therapy in a different context, I started to look for alternative medicine as a career. I was not able to find a medical degree leading to a doctorate in Alternative Medicine but I found out that there is such thing as Licensure for Massage Therapist. This was my first step in my journey to massage, spa, beauty, health and wellness. From that time forth, the rest was history.

Two years thereafter, I have been feeling weak and sick. I am having difficulty breathing whenever I walk or come up and down the stairs. Even if it’s just some light work, I get tired easily. I feel fatigued almost all of the time, I have chest pains and shortness of breath. Being someone from the medical background, I sought medical help immediately. The internal medical physician told me to seek the professional help of a cardiologist. I thought to myself, “why a cardiologist? I thought it was my lungs again?” Even if I was not convinced, I still heeded his advise and went to a cardiologist who asked me to undergo an echocardiogram (ECG) and some running test. The result? I have MVP or Mitral Valve Prolapse in my heart (to be specific it was in the Posterior Mitral Valve leaflet). I read again the results, I have MVP or Mitral Valve Prolapse. What again? MVP? Most Valuable Player? Like in basketball? Hehehe…. What is that? ano kamo? I must have been asleep or absent when that was taught in school because I cannot find it within the recesses of my stock knowledge. So I asked the cardiologist to please explain my condition. He said that I have a condition in my heart also known as “click murmur syndrome” and “Barlow’s syndrome”. This is the most common heart valve abnormality, affecting five to ten percent of the world population. I thought,” yeah right Doc, you are just saying that to pacify me.” So where did I contract it, where did I get it from? Is it a disease? An infection? He said “the Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) syndrome has a strong hereditary tendency, although the exact cause is unknown. It is seen most commonly in women from 20 to 40 years old, but also occurs in men”. By this time, I am already correlating data in my mind from my previous medical history and was wondering “My dextroscoliosis is idiopathic (meaning of unknown cause) and now another condition, MVP is also of unknown origin?” Again, the cardiologist said, there are no cure for it except if I went ahead and do surgery, which is not really necessary, he said. As it’s not really a cure. Since my MVP condition was a classic one because I have mitral regurgitation, he told me to not to stress myself too much especially physically and not to worry too much. There is no cure.

To make matters worse (or should I say better?), when I searched online about MVP complications, it includes in rare circumstances—cardiac arrest, usually resulting in sudden death. Ahhh, at least a prayer of mine has been answered because I asked the Lord not to make my death long and hard. Hehehe…..anyway, I just kept on praying and hoping for the best. You may feel that it’s morbid to think about death, but actually it’s more unhealthy to live in denial of death and what will inevitably happen in the future. We need to think more of eternity, not less.

In 2007, I was also diagnosed to have endometrial polyp and intramural myoma (both are said to be abnormal growths) to which the gynecologist told me the only solution are two ways: conceive a baby or undergo sugery. Again, both of these do not promise that it will not grow again. By this time, I am already aware of some alternative and complementary therapies so I sought the help of one Meetup member who is a doctor but also into complementary medicine. No other than Dra. Naomi. She explained to me that my condition was very easy to cure. She gave me a lifestyle check including food: what to eat and what not to eat. That time I was still eating red meat but slowly getting off of it. So, I decided to take her advise seriously.

You know, when you are faced with death on your face, you get to evaluate you life and your lifestyle. I was then reminded by God to cling to him. I remember the time that God and I made a pact, this was a long time ago that once I get to accomplish what He (God) has entrusted me to do on Earth (whatever that is) I am free to go. He is free to take me home. Since the time that I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I do not fear death. My only request to God was: I do not like to suffer- it should not be a violent death or a long hard death. But, we do not get to choose when and where our birth and death will be. All we can do is ask God to grant our prayers. Well, after being given the advise from the doctor that they cannot do anything and there is no real cure for my condition (again). This time, I decided to undergo surgery but I have to give other ways a try. “If these trials (the complementary therapies) will not work after three months, I will go under the knife” I said to msyself.

During that time, I have gotten into self-reflection. It’s ironic because I only slow down when I am faced with life threatening illness or danger or physical ailment. Ewan ko ba lagi akong parang nagmamadali…hahaha….kahit sa mall my sister would always remind me ano ka ba ateng? we need to stroll and walk not pace fast. Most of the time naman, I get so caught up with work and other things to do that I am always in a hurry. At other times, I forget eating because I am so engrossed with work. Yes, at times for the whole day when I have an activity, dinner na ako makakakain. I was also reminded by God to slow down. As I read Psalms 46:10, it said, “be still and know that I am God”. Ouch! There I am again noh? Being reminded by God to take things slow and not to forget Him even in our daily lives not only on Sundays. During those times, as we were also talking with Dra. Naomi she said that prayer is also very powerful and there were scientific researches which showed that whenever you pray for something especially food that you are about to take, it energizes the molecules of food thereby giving you more boost and healing along the way. So I also started a prayer vigil for my healing. After three months of extensive health diet and lifestyle conditioning- and boy! It’s hard….really hard because I have to have the discipline to really eat only this much, eat only this, do only this and not do that. My body was complaining because it is not used to a “really” healthy lifestyle and when I started out this new lifestyle, my diet was all raw and vegan. As if I have cancer. I ate raw food and a lot of seaweeds! Only fruits for a start and vegetables but nothing with face on it. Eh di siyempre, yung katawan ko manghihina the first few days pa lang. I was trembling because of hunger as I was used to carbohydrate based food. But after I got my system in check, detoxified myself, a week thereafter, my body started to move in directions that my mind wants it to go. Since then I have not indulged in red meat particulary pork- sabi nga nila naging muslim na daw ako. But then again, come to think of it, they have a point not to eat pork because it’s really not healthy, it poisons our body. Pork is very hard to digest and assimilate. So, after three months, to be able to finally confirm if my new lifestyle was effective, I have to go back to my gynecologist and have myself checked again. This time, during the ultrasound while the gynecologist was looking for the myoma- she was saying, “bakit nawala? Anong ginawa mo?” after an extensive search, the gynecologist gave up and said “nothing” and my results where normal. Thank God. It was a miracle. God used Meetup for me to meet people like Dr. Naomi, encouragements and prayers from my friends, family and Ted, diet and lifestyle to heal me.

But my story will not end here, remember I have dextroscoliosis and the doctor said also there is no cure? I went to this fire and heat therapy (one of the indigenous therapies that we went to for our Meetups) and had three (I think) sessions with Tatay Tony and to my surpise, my backaches have really diminished. For this, I would like to thank Mr. Ramon Tan, the owner of Carica who introduced me to Tatay Tony when he found out that I have scoliosis. To this day, I have not had too much pain on my back not unlike before. This was one of our photos:

Last but not the least, just last month February 24, 2010, I was diagnosed to have nodules and cysts on my mammary glands (in short breasts). Yes, cysts and nodules not just one but four on each sides. Ano ba yan? Ang dami naman tumutubo sa akin? Hehehe……puro pa naman idiopathic……unknown cause. But again, when I was about to undergo aspiration biopsy the surgeon told me to come back again after a month if I felt something abnormal if not I can come back in April for a mammography, just to be sure.

So why am I sharing to you all of these? One, because having to face the reality of death several times, we get to evaluate our lives more than anything else. Life is short. As James 4:14b said, “Our life is like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. Life is not all about career or money and how far we have reached in our fields. Although these are important, these are not permanent. We have to ask ourselves, if God chooses to take me right now, am I prepared? Have we done God’s purpose for our lives? Have we glorified God through our skills, our talents and our abilities? Life is not just a matter of going up the ladder of success in the world’s standards. It is what we have done that impacts eternity and how do we prepare for eternity? Go on a one on one talk with God. Pray. It works. We have to ask God to forgive us and let Him come into our lives and offer our lives to Him as he has given His life for us. When you are in your dying moments, I do not think I will hear you say “bring me my diplomas, I want to look at them one more time or bring me my medals and trophies, my awards and the jewelries that were given to me”. When life on Earth is ending, we do not want to be surrrounded by objects but with people. People we love and cherish. So whenever we wake up everyday should be to make sure that we spend time loving God by loving other people and using whatever talents or skills He has given us to share it with everyone. Do not waste today’s blessings by keeping it with yourself. Give God and people a time and chance into your life.

Two, because whatever our journey is in this field, we all have stories to tell, we have experiences to share and kindness to show. You have something to share, something to contribute and no one in this world is as unique as you. You are created to do more than exist. You are wonderfully made. You are placed on this earth to add more love, give more of ourselves, to add more understanding, more forgiveness and we can do that with our work, our career, our talents, our skills and our abilities. Our money, our career, our life- will come to an end but what we have done for the sake of God will reflect until eternity.

As Russel Kelfer’s poem amptly states:
You are who you are for a reason.

You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.
You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You’re just what he wanted to make.
The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,

They were custom designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.
No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you’d grow.
You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

Do not just spend your life trying to create success financially and in your career or trying to create a legacy on Earth. It’s not at all bad to want to be remembered when you are gone but ultimately what matters most will not be what others say about your life but what God would say about yours. Realize that all these acheivements will be surpasses by others in the future, records will be broken, reputations fade and tributes forgotten. Do not just live for an Earthly legacy because there is much more than what we see on Earth.

I pray that God will touch you in whatever situation you are right now. Be it in health or in sickness, in success or defeat, up or down- we need God. I also hope that you will come to realize that no religion, no amount of good works will ever replace God’s love for us. He is just a prayer away, He is just waiting for us to come to him and talk to Him with our hearts. All we need to do is ask to come into our lives. “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened (James 11:9-10)”.

Do not waste your time, ask God now.


Travel, Trips and Tours for Spa, Massage Therapy and Wellness Enthusiasts

Hay naku summer na naman. And since it’s time again to wander around, did you know that the Philippines has a FREE travel and lifestyle magazine distributed around different airports in Manila, Cebu, Clark, in different call centers, some hotels and resorts and coffee shops in the Philippines? With tips on where to go and what to do, this magazine revolutionizes the way Filipinos travel and is defnitely your handy ultimate tour guide on travel. Yes, and that magazine I am referring to is (drum roll please….hehe) Juan Philippines magazine.

The latest issue of this magazine featured your spa, massage therapy and wellness guide and consultant in an article focusing on Gift Guide for the Wellness Enthusiast. Although its for Valentine’s day, you can get tips on getting gifts for your loved ones anytime of the year.

To view a copy of this article you can visit:

Valentine’s Gift Guide for the Wellness Enthusiast


Eunice Estipona

When buying a unique and special gift for our loved ones we are using up all our creativity and resources to do so. If money is tight, every peso counts so there is no such thing as “cheap”, if you have really thought about it, no matter what the cost, then that’s what matters. Material gifts are not that only things that you can give so before buying something, listen to clues on what he/she really wants. Instead of the usual chocolates, you can mix and match any two or three of these items depending on your budget. So, here’s a list of gift ideas for wellness enthusiasts.

1. Spa-rties or Spa Parties- contact a Licensed Massage Therapist or a nearby spa and inquire if they can accommodate two people at the same time and if it’s a group date then they should be able to come up with a themed spa party occasion. For a more specialized and less expensive treat and you have space at home, you can host a spa party right at your own home. Just buy some robes and slippers, scented candles, massage oils or manicure and/or pedicure set- call a home spa or home massage service or hire somebody in your neighborhood to give you and your loved one a massage and a foot spa with manicure and pedicure. Compose a romantic poem in a Valentine’s card and insert a spa gift certificate. If he/she loves chocolates, take them to a spa that offers chocolate scrubs and treatments.

2. Wellness Travel- Go out and have fun! If that means, just taking them for a bowling time or a fitness center or perhaps you can take your loved one/s to an organic farm and a healthy culinary tour. Recreate your first date or the time when you told each other the three magical words, “I love you”; Walk, dive or schedule an overnight trip to a romantic resort spa outside of town. Take a trip down a rural area and experience authentic bamboo massage, sea shell massage, Dagdagay or our very own Hilot.

3. Palate Trip- Treat your loved ones for a food trip to a spa gourmet, a vegan restaurant or arrange a cooking time to cook low carb, vegan food and delicacies. Inquire from culinary schools if they offer short classes on vegetarian cuisine and cooking demonstrations then enroll both of you as part of your bonding time. Learn and have fun together learning a new recipe.

4. Delights at home- Dress up your bedroom like a spa with fresh petals of roses on the tub or on the floor, a mini water fountain, lighted aromatherapy candles and a waiting massage therapist to perform massage for both of you. Arrange your ordinary kitchen to look something like a healthy spa nook/kitchen with herbs, gourmet food and green and leafy vegetables on the refrigerator and fresh fruits and edible flowers on the dinner table. Make a healthy midnight snack that you can both devour. Make it as appealing to the sight as can be.

5. Gifts and tokens- Buy foot spa gift set, a pet, a plant like a bonsai, buy seeds for an herb garden or Zen garden containing white sand, etched stones and candles; Vegan cook books, fitness and exercise CD’s/DVD’s, spa music CD’s or relaxing CD’s, instructional books on health and beauty, Gift basket like a Spa kit/Bath basket containing bath towel, aromatherapy oils, massage oils, organic soaps, body scrubs, edible flowers, etc.

All in all, any present whatever the amount is all about thought, attention and love. Appreciate what is there and love them for it!

They are also still accepting entries (until March 22, 2010) for “Send us your best BEACH photo/s (can be wackiest, funniest,sexiest, etc.) and win an overnight stay at Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park in Cavite and also get a chance to have the photo featured in our Parting Shot section. Email those photos to juanphilippines@gmail.com now!”

Should you want to download previous issues of Juan magazine you can visit their website at http://www.juanphilippines.com/ or download/view the current issue at this link: http://issuu.com/juanphilippines/docs/feb-marchloversgetawayissue

If you want to display the these FREE magazines in your establishment or have your hotel, resort, spa, massage clinic or wellness center featured please email me yunesa@yahoo.com so I can give you their contact details.

Get to know our wonderful country, promote healthy living and a wellnessness lifestyle. If you also have time to travel and tour with us and experience indigenous therapies, for Filipino therapies and wellness travel, email me (also) so I can send you schedules and details – yunesa@yahoo.com

Let us continue to work hand in hand with our fellow Filipinos to present our country as one of the best places to visit in the world because we really have a lot to offer.

Mabuhay at sa susunod na blog ulit!

2010 Trends: Spa, Massage Therapy, Beauty and Wellness

I will be blogging about Spa, Massage Therapy, Beauty and Wellness Trends for 2010. So before I give out what to watch out for in the future regarding these arenas I would like to clarify a few things before I delve into the trends in our industry. I would like to stress that forecasting trends is far from an exact Science because all trends are constantly evolving and as I am writing this blog, both trends listed below are one way or the other, already happening and they are evolving rapidly. I have also included some examples and tips to boost your spa, massage clinic and wellness center business using the trends below.

First and foremost, readers of this blog must make the important distinction between a fad and a trend. What then is the difference between the two? One major difference between a fad and a trend is the duration. The lifespan of a fad is short, fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. A fad is a statement, a one-hit wonder, something eye-catching that comes and then goes just as quickly. Sandali lang wala na…. It enjoys a few months of unexpected popularity, but disappears just as quickly as it appears. It might be another new massage technique, a new spa offering, a new facial product in the market, etc. Fads create a lot of attention and press, and then they abruptly disappear because people haven’t seen results or they find it too difficult to sustain.

But there is a tendency for a fad to become a trend and if it does it can remain popular for decades and might become a classic. A trend on the other hand, has roots and staying power. It strikes a deeper cord, they are self-sustaining but needs improvement over time and is connected to a larger change in society. It would totally be expected, then, to see the same trends appearing for multiple years in a trends survey. The day spa is one example of a fad becoming a trend which crossed over and have interwoven industries in beauty and wellness.

Some experts agree that the difference between a fad and a trend is the number of industries it affects. A fad often appears in a single industry and rarely crosses over into others. While a trend spans more than one industry and touches more than one market and generation. So if you went to a trade show and you are seeing a certain massage technique or facial product over in many booths, it’s already too late to catch the beginning of that trend.

Another difference between a fad and a trend is the overall industry acceptance. Investing in a fad item can be risky for companies known for setting trends. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between a fad and a trend before the product or service reaches the buying public. Smaller companies often have the flexibility necessary to promote a faddish item, while larger companies tend to wait until the initial smoke clears and a trend can be determined. This difference between a fad and a trend can be seen in the recent fad diet wars. Ano ba talaga ang effective regimen para magpapayat? When scientific evidence demonstrated a link between high carbohydrate intake and weight gain, nauuso yung mga fad diet plans. Although the move away from processed foods and carbohydrates soon became a trend, the individual diet plans involved all enjoyed a fleeting popularity. A similar difference between a fad and a trend also appeared in the fitness industry. An emphasis on core exercises and the reduction of abdominal fat became a trend, hindi na puwede yung malalaki ang bilbil therefore a number of faddish exercise devices appeared suddenly on television screens everywhere. Some of these exercise devices were shown to be ineffective or even dangerous for the user, while others became part of the trend towards better health and weight reduction.

One of the telling differences between a fad and a trend is the perception of overall quality. Fad products and items are rarely expected to endure, but trends tend to survive the decade in which they were created.

Example, a spa owner needs to be aware at all times of what is happening in the massage and spa industry. If you are not able to attend trade shows, a quick and easy way to keep up with the latest news is to go to your nearest competitor and take a look at the newest service offerings. Go to malls and check out what other spas are offering. Really examine what products are on the shelves and in the sales circulars. In this way you can take advantage of the trend research that has already been done by professional buyers. You have to study and learn from the brands that you admire and think of them as the mirrors to today’s more diverse, more networked and connected society at pagkatapos nun find ways to outdo them.

Find out what’s new, and then continue monitoring to see what has staying power, and what is on the way out. It is important to keep checking, because the trends and even the classics may eventually evolve and change over time. For example: Look at how traditional Philippine hilot has evolved into wellness hilot. Take note of what are the differences between how it is being practiced in a modern spa versus a “hilot ng probinsiya” and then you can incorporate both. Then your clients will have the best of both worlds.

Distinguishing between trends and fads requires quantitative and qualitative research in addition to gut instinct. Telling the difference between a fad and a trend is a constant balancing act for entrepreneurs. Staying in touch with our clients and testing innovations before making large commitments are to succeed in catching a trend.

The massage industry is constantly exploring new movements and massage modalities while at the same time evolving and improving on massage equipment. Example, yung mga manufacturers and product suppliers ng massage tables and facial beds should avoid designs that are attractive but unsafe or that deliver bio-mechanically incorrect massage movements from both the practitioner and the client. Dapat yung design na pwede kahit anong height ng massage therapist at kahit anong massage modality. Kung meron na nun. Equipment needs to be built with proper biomechanics that encourage proper lower-back support and skeletal alignment.

Second, maraming products in the market especially facial products na mag cla-claim that you will be whiter, have clear complexion, etc. Some even claim that you will stop aging with little work on your part. Sad to say they are all false. Aging cannot be totally stopped because aging is really a part of life. You can at least minimize the effects of aging but you cannot stop it. Also, we have to consider that these products should continually be used. There is no such thing as a magical wand to change you into a beautiful flawless princess overnight. Kahit yung mga case na maiitim na pumuti- it did not happen overnight. Even Glutathione tablets need months to take into effect. Hindi pwede yung mag take ka ng Glutathione minsan lang and then you would expect na next week maputi ka na. It will take time. There is no quick, easy way to get whiter that will show results immediately. Kung pumuti ka man instantly mamaya maitim ka na naman pag hindi ka gumamit ng product na yun continuously. Ganun din sa exercise, there is no effective workout that are easy kung gusto mo talagang maging sexy it takes discipline in food intake and exercise. And by the way, not all exercise machines can deliver results.

I am not saying that these are the only trends to track in 2010. There are dozens of important trends worth applying and I am merely bringing you my selection as it affects us in the Philippines because the similarity between fads and trends is that both are driven by changing consumer preferences and desires.

Okay so after we have discussed at length ang fad and trend. Here now are the trends for 2010.

1. Correct! Connect!

Connections. Partnerships. Mergers. Convergence. Consumers in the spa, massage therapy and wellness will experience more and more local to local, local and international businesses coming to join and pair with each other to stay relevant in a diverse world of consumers. There will be more industries na mag me-merge with the spa, beauty and wellness industry. Including fitness, travel and tourism, medical and health, bilogy and environment, culture and experience etc. Which will produce a lot of diversities and collaboration from individuals, companies, etc.

Which brings us to a few sub-trends, where people, services and products are just thumbs and clicks away. Urban (City) population is growing at a phenomenal rate and according to the Global Report on Human Settlements, October 2009: Asia will host 63% of the global urban population or 3.3 billion people in 2050. So where does this leads us? What is the significance? More and more consumers will be sophisticated but will be willing to try-out more daring goods (thereby creating a need for bite size or should I say, appetizer size services in the spa) simplified spa menus, signature and unique experiences and services. This will also in effect have less cookie cutter services which will create less blandness in the relationship between spa enthusiasts and management. More and more services of these spas, massage clinics, beauty and wellness centers will offer their very own signature services, localized and exclusive spa and massage therapies and treatments that will keep clients coming back for more. Therefore your spa, massage clinic or wellness center should sell something special, something premium (in some cases), something desirable in just one (geographical) location. Just be sure that it’s worth the trip.

Since dadami ang tao within cities, online transparency with conversations happening online will be the latest and greatest. These consumers will be lusting for more and more information. Tracking and alerting people online. One example of which is Google latitude where you share your current location with your Google contacts via browser and mobile device. Mas maraming spas ang mag o-offer ng online and via mobile appointments. And if you have not yet used Google Earth then medyo huli ka na, but nevertheless you should try it out. It’s cool. Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.

Gadgets (including mobile phones and i-pods, etc) will be used to digitalize everything including spa appointments and consumer reviews. More and more blogs will be created for consumer reviews. In short, with people sharing information online, everything we actually do, buy, listen to, attend, try and so on will make it easy for people to find groups and real-time content (as we speak ika nga). It will be a common thing to tap into a live stream of experiences from fellow consumers. Of course, as more people are contributing and reviewing, sa dami ng information available and accessible to all, online access and device convergence will allow more on-the-spot-reviews like Twitter, it has established itself as the real-time snap shot of what people are thinking, feeling and experiencing and reviewing word wide.

So, in 2010, expect numerous services to capitalize on this burgeoning ‘global brain’, and its endless real-time reviews and verdicts.

But do not be fooled, human interaction will still play a big role in an era were online presence is a must. Mass mingling, bonding and mind-sharing will be a common thing. People will get out of their homes and use social media and online groups to spur meeting in flesh and blood. Why? Because people actually enjoy interacting with other warm bodies, and will do so forever. Online relationships and presence will not replace (still) direct human interaction. People are people who needs others to survive and that means getting a part of some offline community. Meetings will be even more impromptu, temporary meet-ups of strangers, people and crowds with similar interests, hobbies, political preferences, causes and grievances. Many of these (temporary) meet-ups will revolve around getting a project done, generating public attention or helping one another.

A breed of consumers and clients na ang hinahanap will be beauty prodoucts that does not only make them beautiful on the outside but on how they feel. So magiging IN yung beauty products na may psychological and well-being benefits that affects people’s moods positively. So if you a beauty product povider make use of textures, temperatures or sounds that affect the mood, as well as innovations, such as makeup that “induces beauty sleep”  producing also a hybrid of beauty and spa products and services.

2. Giving and Sharing is the name of the game.

This is already big in 2009 but will even be bigger in 2010. Consumers will patronize more products and services that give back to the community not only as a good corporate citizen but in order to stay relevant in business a spa, massage clinic or wellness center should champion something. Consumers will be more drawn towards spa, massage clinics and wellness cnetr businesses who values fair trade, ecologically friendly, safe and sound products. Clients/consumers will buy what makes them feel good- good about the ingredients and good about what they are spending. This generosity will be taken to the next level, by initiatives that would make giving and donating painless like using our mobiles and donating online. Just to give you an idea, how you can start this, as a spa, massage clinic and wellness center owner, you can introduce and encourage consumers to volunteer to an organization you support and they can get 50-100% off of your rates. They can just present a letter from the organization they worked for given the number of hours and viola! they would get free services from you. Even Disneyland is already doing this to inspire volunteerism. Disneyland have worked with HandsOn Network to have their volunteer work verified and those who contribute their time will receive a voucher from Disney for a day’s admission to Walt Disney or Disneyland Theme park. You can raise money to donate to spas employees who have been devastated by typhoon Ondoy.

There are several ways to apply these consumer trends, and make some money from the innovations. Just ask yourself if they have the potential to (and if so, how):

1. Influence or shape your company’s vision by re-aligning it with these trends.

2. Fads and trends become integrated into our lives very quickly, and our sales and service quotas will reflect this if we incorporate these items into our lines. So these trends should inspire you to come up with a new business concept, an entirely new venture or a new brand.

3. Add a new product, service or experience for a certain customer segment.

4. Speak the language of those consumers/ clients who already ‘living’ a trend.

Fads and trends are part of what keeps our industry and our world fun and interesting – And the bottom line is that our clients keep coming back for more!


The first informational blog regarding spa, massage therapy, beauty and wellness with a focus on the Philippines. Eunice’s blog and updates are found in this link http://www.yunesa.blogspot.com

Some articles written by Eunice, which you can view, read, download and print for FREE. Just click on the links:

What term should really be used?

Client, Patient, Customer, At Iba Pa

Masseur, Massagist, Massage Therapist, At Iba Pa


Is the spa, massage therapy and wellness industry included in the Top Businesses to start in these times of global financial challenges? Find out in this article so you can adopt and perhaps change your business into profitable ones:

Top Businesses to Start in Uncertain Times/Sluggish Economy


If you are an employer these are the things you should ask, or if you are a prospective applicant, job seeker or someone who interviews people, this article can help you answer and ask/probe questions:


Are you a smart boss, staff or employee? This article will give secrets on how to become a Smartest Spa, Massage Therapist/Practitioner.


Do you want to know the right type of massage for you? Do you you want to know the common types of massage and how it is practiced? This article will give you the glimpse of massage therapies locally and abroad:

The Basics of Massage Therapy (Massage 101)


Do you want to know how much capital you need to start your own spa, massage clinic or wellness center? Do you want to know what it is like being a spa owner? Do you want to be (really) prepared before you shell out money into putting up your own spa, massage clinic or wellness center? Do you want to know what steps you have to take before putting up your own business in this field?

How to Start, Begin or Open a Spa, Massage Clinic or Wellness Center


Are you tired of putting up with sexually charged clients? Do you know how to handle sexual harassment in the spa and massage therapy setting? Then this article will definitely help you:

Preventing/ Avoiding Sexual Advances during a Spa or Massage  Session50 ways of Handling Client Advances


Do you want to know about Hilot, Dagdagay and other indigenous therapies of the Philippines? If yes, then read on!

A Wee-bit of Philippine Indigenous Therapies with a Focus on Hilot


Rules and Regulations on How to Become a Licensed Massage Therapist in the Philippines through the help of the Department of Health, here is the new update:

How to Be a Licensed Massage Therapist in the Philippines


Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Assessment


On anti-aging and Physical Appearances


How to renew a Massage Therapy License in the Philippines:


If you want to be updated of spa, massage and wellness activities and events or be a part of a support group

What is Meetup all about?


The most comprehensive resource and information guide on the list of training centers, magazines, publications, books and literatures both local and international are all available in the book, “The Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource Guide and Career Book”. The First Book on Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource Book and Career Guide

(this has the most comprehensive list of training centers in the Philippines and abroad with tips from professionals and employment opportunities, legal laws and regulations, list of employment agencies, how to choose a trainer, and information that you need in order to succeed in this industry and before you shell out money for your tuition or training, there are a lot of ways you can grab a copy of this valuable information para hindi ka mag sayang ng time and money enrolling in trainings you do not even need. This book will give you the information to start right in the industry with secrets you should know and being able to find your rainbow in the wonderful world of massage, spa and wellness.

1. You can order it online via http://www.Amazon.com at 34.95$

2. You can order it via a Kindle device at $7.99

3. You can order an e-book copy through my blog at http://www.yunesa.blogspot.com at $19.95

4. You can also get a copy from National Bookstores nationwide at P799Pesos

5. For locals only, you can order it from me at local discounted rates with free delivery at 900Pesos (via LBC or FEDEX Air 21. Anywhere in the Philippines. Please allow 1-5 working days

If you are looking for a career opportunity, not just a job in the spa, massage therapy and wellness industry, this book is a must read.

Also, CD’s included in the kit for spa management, practice and operations available:

The Spa and Wellness Business- Understanding the Basics (PowerPoint format)

Seven Deadly Mistakes to Avoid as a Spa Owner and Practitioner in the Spa Wellness Business (PowerPoint format)

Spa, Massage and Facial Therapies 101 (The Basics) (PowerPoint format)

Business Worksheets for Spa and Massage Business in the Philippines (Excel and Word format/program includes all the financial worksheets you need in computing for your operational cost, etc.)

This article is written by: Eunice Estipona a spa consultant, mentor, advisor, speaker and lecturer. One of her advocacies is to make healing and information regarding the field of spa, massage and wellness accessible and affordable to everyone. If you are serious about turning your business or practice around, making the right decisions, getting an unbiased opinion and knowing where to get help, for lectures and other concerns she can be contacted at yunesa@yahoo.com or +639184745685. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at http://www.meetup.com/philippinemassagetherapy

These along with hundreds of resources found locally and abroad are contained in “The Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource and Career Book”, the first book of resource information to know more about the Spa, Massage and Wellness Industry in the Philippines and other countries including the United States, Australia and other Asian countries. You can view, read, download and print for FREE the book’s summary at this link http://www.scribd.com/doc/6425282/About-the-Book-Spa-Massage-and-Wellness-Resource-Guide-and-Career-Book

If you are a spa, massage therapy and wellness information seeker the resources contained in the book for you. This book is a collection of data and valuable information regarding the spa and massage industry in a global perspective with a focus on the Philippines. Her advocacy in writing the book is to make “unbiased” information regarding the field of spa, massage and wellness resources and career, accessible and affordable for everyone. If you are considering a career in the massage, spa and wellness industry, this book will prepare you and give you a glimpse of what it is like, the preparation you need to take: emotionally, intellectually and financially. In this book, you will learn more details in the spa and massage field and the possible paths you can take. You will also learn about local and international training programs offered and numerous employment possibilities. Giving you much needed information at your fingertips. You can order it from http://www.Amazon.com or for local Philippine residents, you can email and get in touch with Eunice at yunesa@yahoo.com.


You can freely distribute a copy of this article provided, that you follow the terms of reprint. Be certain to read our TERMS OF REPRINT and honor our TERMS OF REPRINT when you use this article. Thank you.

Helpful Link:

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act – Overview http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/iclp/dmca1.htm

Our TERMS OF REPRINT are fully enforcible under the terms of: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act


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View my Latest TV Guesting on Youtube:

2010 Events on Spa, Massage Beauty and Wellness

This is a list of 2010 events related to spa, beauty and wellness locally (meaning in the Philippines) and abroad for informational purposes only. Although comprehensive, this is in no way complete and is posted in my blog for the convenience of those seeking information, conference participants and events, conference, trade show organizers who need to publish their upcoming events. Please email me if you need your event to be listed for FREE (yunesa@yahoo.com). Although great care is being taken to ensure the correctness of all entries, I cannot accept any liability that may arise from the presence, absence or incorrectness of any particular information on this blog. Always check with the meeting organizer or their website before making arrangements to participate in an event.

Spa & Resort Expo & Conference/Medical Spa

February 20, 2010 – February 21, 2010

Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles, CA


Professional Beauty

March 07, 2010 – March 09, 2010



International Esthetics, Cosmetics, & Spa Conference-New York

March 07, 2010 – March 09, 2010

Jacob Javits Convention Center

New York, NY


Natural Products Expo West

Natural is Now twenty10

March 11-14, 2010

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim, CA, USA

Registration is FREE before February 5, 2010 for all qualified buyers, distributors and brokers.

Day Spa Expo and Business Forum

March 13-15, 2010

Las Vegas Convention Center


Face, Body Spa and Healthy Aging Conference and Expo Midwest

March 27, 2010 – March 29, 2010

McCormick Place West

Chicago, IL


The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa

April 10, 2010 – March 12, 2010

Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami, FL


Esthetique International Spa-VANCOUVER

April 18, 2010 – April 19, 2010

Canada Place on the Waterfront

Vancouver, CANADA


4th Annual Global Spa Summit

May 16, 2010 – May 19, 2010

Istanbul, Turkey


Beauty World Japan 2010

May 17, 2010 – May 19, 2010

Tokyo Big Sight

Tokyo, Japan


Exhibit at the China Beauty Expo

May 21-29, 2010

New International Expo Center

Shanghai, China


World Massage Festival & Massage Therapy Hall of Fame

June 17, 2010 – June 21, 2010

Berea College

Berea, KY


Nutracon Asia: Call for Papers

August 26-27, 2010

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center

Hong Kong, China


The 8th Natural Product Expo Asia

August 26-28, 2010

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center

Hong Kong, China


The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa

September 26, 2010 – September 27, 2010

Long Beach Convention Center

Long Beach, CA


Ageless Festival 10-10-10

October 10, 2010

Singapore, China


Wellness Summit 2010 will be held over three days and shall be a part of Ageless festival a weeklong event in Singapore. October 10, 2010

International SPA Association (ISPA) Conference & Expo

November 15, 2010 – November 18, 2010

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center on the Potomac

National Harbor, MD


Philippine Events

Manila Overseas Career and Livelihood Fair

January 15, 2010

Tutuban Mall exhibit


World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

International Tourism and Trade Expo

May 15, 2010

SM Megamall


Food Franchising

Sept. 15, 2010

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

Food and Drinks Asia

Sept. 15, 2010

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

Health, Beauty, Fitness and Lifestyle Asia 2010

Sept. 15, 2010

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

Health World Expo

October 15, 2010

SMX Convention Center

Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City, Metro 1300

Manila, , Philippines

Tel: (632) 5568888

Fax: (632) 5562970

Health World Expo

October 15, 2010

SMX Convention Center

Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City, Metro 1300

Manila, , Philippines

Tel: (632) 5568888

Fax: (632) 5562970

American Idol, Lucy Torres Gomez, Massage World Record, World Travel and Tours and Malapacao
(November News and Views Report 2009)

Today is the beginning of something new in this blog. I will be including in this blog, a monthly (and hopefully in the near future, bi-monthly) news and views report which will feature and discuss local (meaning Philippines) and international news, still within the boundaries of spa, massage therapy, beauty, well-being, health and wellness. Anything related with those issues, I will try to give you current (and as much as possible) events and the latest happenings in the industry. Some might be controversial and some trivial. Some needs our attention and some needs our action. I want some news and information that people can interact with. They may be used as a stepping stone towards more ideas, information, more resources and more learning. Hopefully with these news and views feature, we will be able to create a better place to live in.

Let us start with lighter news:

Who among you watches American Idol? I have watched it, TV several times and I am drawn to the fact that each judge has different personalities. And what does American Idol have to do with Spa, Massage, Beauty and Wellness? Well, one of the judges, Simon Cowell, also known as called Mr. Nasty because of how he comments harshly, putting down the contestants and with the few times that I have watched American Idol, I would say that on spotlight (and not in real life), he is “brutally blunt or should I say, brutally honest?” Simon would put down and criticize the contestants and their abilities. But of course, I do not believe that in real life he has that horrible personality. He also received booo’s from the audience even before he speaks. He recently bought his 22$ Million home in Beverly hills in May of 2009. And apparently his dressing Room on XFactor (UK’s largest talent search) has its own Massage area. According to his co-judge, Simon Cowell has spent £50,000 doing up his room and it’s like a palace with plasma TV’s, a massage room and a fridge full of the most expensive champagne money can buy. This 50-year-old music mogul also has a luxury bathroom stocked with beauty products (ehem…at mahilig din daw siya mag pa Botox), including eye wrinkle cream, shaving paste and razors. Validoso di ba? So what does this show us? That there is also a big market in the entertainment industry for professionals like us and for products and services in the field of spa, massage therapy, beauty and wellness. Especially anti-aging. That there is no need to be “madamot” (greedy) with information and resources and no need to fight over clients because there are a lot of them out there. That there is no need para magsiraan at magkaroon ng “hate” campaign and brigade because with that we also hurt ourselves in the process. That we should help each other in promotions because what goes around comes around. That indeed, the spa, beauty and wellness industry is a booming market ONLY if you know how to do the business and position yourself with dignity and respect for others. The industry has a lot to improve and we all have a lot to contribute let us not start by resentment (there is no exact Tagalog word, but it’s a combination of a feeling of “inggit” or envy with “pagtatampo” mild sulking or “hinanakit” indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance).
If we are to conquer the world and be a salt of this earth we have to conquer the world with goodness and the God who sees your every good deed will ultimately reward you for it.
On to more cheerful news, I would like to show you a video on QTV11, where there is humor and advise in it. You can click on the link below or there is already a video uploaded for you, just right below this article, you can click on that instead.

Guinness Book and Massage
The largest simultaneous group massage has never been attempted before, so in October 2007, the world’s largest simultaneous group massage happened in Potter’s Field in London. They took part in a Guinness World Record attempt to be massaged for fifteen minutes by 154 professional massage practitioners.
Two adjudicators from Guinness World Records were on hand to certify the new world record. The adjudicators’ job was to check that all 154 people were properly seated and that the massage routine started and ended with the correct professional techniques. Ayan kinailangan pa nila na talagang i-professionalize ang pag practice ng massage. While last year in July of 2008, in Taipei Taiwan, they set a World Record by arranging for 1,008 people to have a foot massage simultaneously. While this year, on October 31, 2009 Massage magazine featured a massage therapist who broke the world record for single-handedly and continuously massaging for 68 hours. Geee…that is a feat to beat. The name of the massage therapist is (drums roll) Christina Brandon from Sarasota, Florida. Although these are events that awe the world, there have been a few comments from professionals in the industry saying that performing back to back massage sessions single-handedly is considered medical malpractice. Because as the therapist finishes each and every massage, her endurance decreases, her attention span to the client also diminishes. Since that is more than two days of performing massage, alertness and attentiveness to each individual client have been compromised. According to Steve, on Scottsdale Examiner Page “It is not possible to maintain the recommended and necessary level of attention to the individual client when the therapist has gone without sleep for 24, 48, or 60+ hours. Performing massage therapy while impaired may be a violation of Florida massage laws, since sa Florida nga ginawa itong record na ito, and certainly presents ethical questions. Certainly a doctor would never intentionally try to set a record for how many procedures he could perform without sleep as this would violate medical safety and ethical standards.” Sabi ni Steve Ibach na isang Massage Therapy examiner. My concern here is…is Guinness Record concerned with how is it performed and practiced like what they did in London? Or are they just shooting for numbers without the quality? Or kaya ba nating mag-organize ng ganitong event na pinakamaraming chair massage in the world? Hummm…… what do you think?

Good and Bad About the Philippines
Kamakailan lamang ay nag report ng kaniyang assessment ang isang foreign tourism expert sa Pilipinas, si Uwe Sturmann, at the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report at Dusit Thani in Makati Manila. Competitiveness, in travel lingo means the ability to conquer markets. Ibig sabihin, you are first and foremost in your clientele’s minds when it comes to a certain niche. So how are we performing? His assessment includes the following:
1. The Philippines is a good but underutilized potential compared to its neighboring countries.
2. The Philippines can weather the economic crisis, IF our tourism sector is resilient and IF we focus on that niche market.
3. The competitiveness of the Philippine tourism sector is relatively weak, we only rank number 86 of 133 countries in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 of the World Economic Forum. Eh baka naman itanong niyo sa akin sino ang una sa ating mga Asian countries? I included Middle Eastern countries as they are still included in the Far East region.
Okay sa Asia, ang mga nangungana at nasa Top 10 eh (drum roll)
1. Singapore
2. Hong Kong
3. Japan
4. Korea
5. Malaysia
6. United Arab Emirates
7. Israel
8. Qatar
9. Thailand
10. China
Worldwide naman, the top ten countries in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness are:
1. Switzerland
2. Austria
3. Germany
4. France
5. Canada
6. Spain
7. Sweden
8. United States
9. Australia
10. Singapore

Our government officials already know that the Philippines can contend and capitalize on its strengths. Pero the problem is wala talaga tayong “niche” dahil lahat ng ginagawa natin ay ginagawa na rin ng ibang bansang malapit sa atin. It would be very challenging (este to be politically correct challenging na lang para mild lang pag difficult kasi parang medyo medyo mahirap at hard kung malayo pa talaga ang dapat takbuhin sa karera..I said challenging BUT not impossible) at papano? We have to get our acts together, hindi yung kanya-kanya or sila-sila. We have to market our strengths strongly using our locals- hummmmm…..dito talaga mahihirapan tayo. On side note, eh papano yun? Karamihan sa locals mas gustong mag abroad at magbakasyon sa Amerika (kung can afford) at Hong Kong naman kung medyo on tight budget. Eh ni hindi nga siguro natin alam kung saan o ni napuntahan ang Malapacao eh. Papano natin mai-pro-promote ang sarili nating bansa eh napaka Western ng culture natin sa ngayon? nagsipagtapos tayo sa mga banyagang unibersidad sa labas ng bansa? Paano natin mai-pro-promote ang isang bansang hindi tayo naniniwala sa mga kakayahan? Let us face it, we still have a lot of growing and understanding to do when it comes to our beloved country and we are starting just now to understand. It will take many years of cooperation and nurturing from different sectors including private sectors (not only government) and us and our citizenry as a whole. Opo lahat tayo kailangang magtulong tulong, kahit taxi driver, (for example) kasi tourists will not come if our taxi drivers are known to be traffic violators, overcharging foreign nationals just because they saw that you are white, at marami pang iba. Of course there are a lot of taxi cab drivers na hindi ganito pero marami pa ring ganito ang ginagawa. Ano ngayon ang mangyayari sa mga naka experience ng ganito? Word of mouth will spread like wild fire, that the Philippines is not safe to travel while on taxi cabs, that the Philippines is just not ready to take on the surge of tourism increase, etc. When I was in Hong Kong, even an increment of your change hindi nag e-expect ang taxi cab driver doon ng tip. They will give you the change like for example, your taxi cab bill was 140HK$ and ang binigay mo is 150HK$, ibabalik nila ang sukli without hesitation, not unless ikaw na mismo ang magsabi na keep it. They will really run by the meter. I do not think it’s about the money aspect eh, but the ability to abide by what the law or the meter said. Tingnan mo pang ilan sila sa top…pangalawa di ba?

I remember when we attended last year’s, 2008 Health and Wellness Tourism Summit, Susie Ellis, President of Spa Finder, made some recommendations to really boost the spa industry together with other related industries. Sorry, I already took the liberty of editing it as Yunesa’s enhanced version (hehehe):

1. The Philippines has to develop the industry alongside other allied industries like massage therapy, spa, nutrition, travel/tourism, environmental groups, healthcare and education through collaboration with different industry sectors (both public/government and private).

2. Encourage learning and education to produce professionals who knows about the industry and accept its diversity. Instead of going out of the country for travel, leisure, beauty and wellness trips try first (local) Philippine-based tours and patronize Filipino owned businesses and products.

3. If you are contemplating on a business, go into business that emphasizes what will take care of the body and our environment. Be socially responsible. Stop patronizing businesses that will only use your money to destroy your health and the environment. Do not just buy something because it’s cheap, buy from businesses that affect people positively. Promote indigenous experiences (example hilot, cooking local food, cave explorations with travel, tourism and education) alongside promote Philippine local products to attract clients and improve outcomes.

4. Invest in education of the citizenry to develop an abundance of skilled professionals and informed public.

5. The Philippines has to develop public relations and marketing campaigns, advertising and promotions which, communicate the Philippine’s tremendous strengths like: medical expertise, compassionate care, English speaking, etc.

6. Make travelling alongside with other tourism efforts more financially attractive to locals.

I remember an email sent to me a few years ago by a friend who is also an OFW and just last month, the same email was sent to me by an online friend who is an American residing in the Philippines. I will paste here below:

The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country:

This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt , that are more than 2000 years old, but are poor.On the other hand, Canada , Australia & New Zealand , that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries, and are rich.

The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources.Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw materials from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.Another example is Switzerland, which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate in the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality! It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world’s strongest, safest place.

Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference.Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.What is the difference then? The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture & flawed tradition.

On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:
1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
2. Integrity.
3. Responsibility.
4. Respect to the laws & rules
5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.
6. Work loving.
7. Strive for savings & investment.
8. Will of super action.
9. Punctuality.
10. and of course…Discipline

In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life.The Philippines is not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us. In fact, we are supposedly rich in natural resources.We are poor because we lack the correct attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies.

I deeply believe that there is a hero within us all and that there is still hope for our beloved country the Philippines. Only if we start acting now. Let us emulate the example of Filipinos like CNN Hero of the Year, Efren Penaflorida. Then a ripple of effct will take place.

So there we are…the cause and root and how we can all resolve the issues of poverty in our country. Let us all help in building and bridging the gap. It is good that we have heroes like Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and our OFW’s, but it is not solely under the shoulders of Manny Pacquiao to build our credibility as a nation. It is within us all.

Before I end this news-blog, speaking of Malapacao (still wondering where it is? I, too did not know about it until last 2007 when someone at the spa summit mentioned it) here is an email invite from Leann, the owner and manager of a Private Resort in Malapacao, Palawan. By the way she also accepts Metrobank and Banco de Oro deposits, email her for more information:

Dear Eunice, it’s Leeann again of Malapacao.

The sun is beautifully shining once again in paradise. The rains and destruction of October is just a memory in the many challenges of living in the Philippines.The outcome of my heart-pouring energies of 30 days ago was a great success.Of the 300+ wonderful souls my message reached (re: the devastating damage of Ondoy and its follow-up) over 15% of you responded.I managed to raise over US$3,000, which equating in Pesos, goes a long way.Yes it’s amazing isn’t it, how so many in the universe gave, even though times are challenging for all of us. My heart goes out to all of you wonderful people and as promised, I’m doubling whatever was your donation in value of stay here at the retreat.The majority of this went to my staff helping their families and friends recover.When I learned of the great work the Animal Rescue teams (organized by PAWS) were doing rescuing many stranded furry critters on rooftops in Manila, I sent US$300to help them too. Imagine no water or food for days on end. How sad if they had no chance.A few weeks after Ondoy a huge hillside in Taytay (just 1 hour away) came crashing down, in the middle of another heavy storm, burying the newly build hospital and everyone inside.There were no survivors, even though many were texting for hours after the incident, buried in the rubble.It’s an understatement to say “it’s been sooooo a challenging month” but there is no other words to say. Having used up all my resources, with many of my own staff living with me for ages (their own homes were full of family) I can finally come up for air and turn inwards to recover, balance myself and repair my wonderful retreat and get back on my own feet.These past few days have been so wonderful again, I’ve been on my sundeck, hands openwide to the heavens, sending messages to connect to all of you who really need my wonderful island.So here’s a way to help yourself get back on track while helping me do the same.I’m offering a Double Tara Promo from NOW to December 15th with afantastic 40% off all my programs. It’s a great opportunity for both of us. Tell your friends too and bring someone with you;you probably know several or many, who really need to find balance right now. Even if it’s just a RAW FOOD or juice program and not a full detox, do come.Check out these figures and book on a plane to come.For more info just email me.

Many, many, many thanks in advance for your kind help and support once again.

Leeann Leeann Cruz, ND.
director and founder
Malapacao Private Island Retreat
Malapacao IslandPalawan Philippines
Mobile: +639189095573http://www.malapacao.com/ <http://www.malapacao.com/> privateisland4@gmail.com <http://us.mc389.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=privateisland4@gmail.com> palawan.cecilia@gmail.com <http://us.mc389.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=palawan.cecilia@gmail.com> Skype:privateisland (arrange beforehand)

A Warning On Scams And Hoaxes And What To Do About It

by Eunice Estipona

Okay I know that this does not have anything to do with spa, massage therapy and wellness but because this also affects our overall wellness, I will include this in the blog. I also think as someone who is in the forefront of information dissemination and as a blogger, we all have the right to discuss the other realities of life. Today I will blog about scams and hoaxes as recently it has affected me and one of my new staff. Please read below:

These are just examples of scams that you should be aware of:

I. Text and mobile phone scams with similar modus operandi like:

1. You have won like this or like that from the government or any private institution. But unfortunately hindi ka naman sumasali sa kahit na anong contests or raffle. Paano ka mananalo?

2. Someone posing as your kakilala (relatives, family member or friends) asking for load or money to be deposited to their account. This happened to one of my new staff who got a text message from this number 09204569906 and was posing as me (unfortunately, I was not available to be called at that time because my mobile number accepts only text/SMS messages because I was out of the country). Well, she was a new staff so she easily believed and sent a 100 peso load to the number. Kung 100 pesos nga lang pinag iinteresan pa nitong mga scammers how much more the big ones? Anyway, to make the story short, she sent the load and when I texted her back using my real mobile number, wala na. Napadala na niya yung load.

3. Someone who would like to meetup or see you (eye ball) posing as someone sent by your kakilala. Beware as this might be a hold-up. I remember, someone last year sent me several emails and text messages posing as Michael Roswell, a visiting American who wants to find a fiance (sorry, I am happily taken) and is really very adamant in meeting me because he is a member of my online group at Meetup Philippines. Until finally after a lot of text messages and I did not reply nor did I give-in to meeting him. Another text message coming from another number (which I will not disclose) sent me a text message containing the following message “to all ladies beware of the anti-fraud international name Michael Roswell don’t put load in his stupid phone. I take a paper on his bag and saw a list of number of victims. I am the one to meet him three times, do a Google search Daniel Brenar, his real name and I’m a secret agent of his ex wife, a Japanese in Japan email me for information. Then she gave out her email address. But then again, since I was never interested in meeting men online for courtship, I have never emailed the said texter. Putting a period in this scam by Micheal Roswell A.K.A. Daniel Brennar.

4. Someone posing as an OFW and wants to send some “padala” (gifts) or asking you to send money because they have a business to engage into and they would ask you to send money via Western Union or any remittance company.

5. Someone asking you to send or give money immediately because your friend, relative, boss or amo has been involved in an accident. Another person will pose as a courier for you to hand over the money to him/her.

So, why are these text obviously a scam? How will you know that a text is a scam?

Number 1, the texter uses a “normal” 11 digit number. Legitimate SMS promos will always course through telecommunication companies’ short codes, 3- or 4-digit numbers provided by the carrier, not the usual mobile number format (example: 0918-123-4567).”

Secondly, the copy needs some work. Honestly, would you take a text message coming from “D’ Sec of Banko Sentral ng Pil” seriously? Ang galing naman mag short text messaging….

You never entered such a contest or promo. Think about it: how can you win something that you’ve never participated in?

Lack of claiming instructions. Valid announcements of winners will always feature detailed instructions on how to claim the prize, and not just simple instructions to call or claim your prize by sending money. Also when the message urges the recipient to claim his or her “prize” quickly. The Department of Trade and Industry said promos usually give the winner 60 days to claim the prize.

How to prevent and what to do with TEXT scams:
1. Kahit nakaka tempt, we should never give in to cash or monetary rewards offered by text scams. Do not give out any information and when they call you using the cell phone tanungin niyo ng mahusay. Sila ang tanungin niyo huwag ikaw. Sila ang tumawag at huwag ikaw. Do not waste your load. Let them run out of load. Do not text back and ignore their messages. If it’s to god to be true then it probably is.
2. Do not give out personal information that can be exploited like your Full name, email address, mobile number, place and date of birth most especially your SSS number, credit card number, bank account details, etc. They are phishing for you to tell them of your financial information.
If you gave up your information already, contact your financial institution/ bank at once. You likely will have to close your account immediately. Here’s what will happen when you give strangers your bank account information: They will take your money. Period. End of story. You get nothing, but you lose a lot.
3. Share your experience with our community through this blog.
4. Report it to any or all of the following:
5/F, EDPC Building, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Manila
Tel: 302-3982 and 524-7011 local 2372

National Bureau of Investigation, Taft Avenue, Manila
Tel: 523-8231 local 3455/3456

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP Complex, Mabini St. Manila
Tel: 523-4832 and 524-7011 local 2259
Hotline Tel. 7513330

The Columbia Tower, Ortigas Avenue, Barnagay Wack Wack
Mandaluyong City 1555
Trunkline 7277960-69
Public Assistance Center Hotline

II. Email SCAMS and hoaxes

In the form of:

1. In the form of employment opportunities, where you will have to send via email. All your credentials, your certificates including a copy of your passport, etc. After gathering all your documents, they will ask for a fee to process all your documents. Two years ago, my cousin has fallen prey to this and he sent $50 USD to a certain employment agency in New York only to find out that after more than six months, he was sent a cheque with a letter from some internet police authority and sent him back the 35$ because they said that they have been receiving reports that the organization that he sent the money to was a scam. Well, his case was a lucky one because at least he got his money back. But not so with most, where they get to send more and got nothing in return.

2. Email scams and hoaxes may also be in the form of an email message pretending to be from a financial institution or any big organization asking potential victims to call a number, and asks victims to key in their credit card or ATM number.

3. Beware of emails you receive because scammers will try to trick you by using phony e-mails, asking them to click to web sites that “spoofed” authentic web sites for banks and credit card companies, eBay and major retailers, even the IRS. Text message scams mostly appeared early this year.

4. Scams informing the recipient of winning big money in a lottery that he never joined like an email lottery “kuno”.

5. Scams from an anonymous individual or a political figure informing you to send money because they badly need it.

6. Email from any person who poses as family member of a deceased person requiring the need to transfer funds to your account..

7. Email from a sick person in bed wanting you to be the sole beneficiary of his/her will.

8. Work at Home email scams: Old scam, new format. You should immediately run from anyone who promises lots of money for little work that requires no experience. While there are companies that allow their employees to work from home, they require job skills and interviews, just like regular jobs. Work-at-home scams will ask you to purchase supplies and equipment from them to perform the “job.” That’s how they make their money. You will lose — not make – money.

9. Forwarded money and donation scams through email. Example below:
Microsoft and Disney are both beta-testing an e-mail tracker and will send you money if you
forward this e-mail. The Gap is testing an e-mail tracker and will send you a gift certificate. The Red Cross is using its e-mail tracker and will donate money for some poor kid’s operation or to raise funds for an orphan of Sept. 11.

Okay there are a lot of forms and disguises for these type of email scams and hoaxes and what shall we do about them? You might ask “what’s the harm in forwarding an e-mail to my friends? And people on my email list?” The answer is that some of the latest hoaxes are intended to do more than just deceive you. There are some web pagea saying if it gets “a million hits” then some poor sick little girl’s grandparents would donate money for her treatment. Think about it, if her grandparents had the money and their granddaughter was really sick, do you think they would wait for a web page to get a million hits? No, the only thing that is sick is the person who put that site up. Was it just a prank to get a million hits? Absolutely not. The page had a revenue generating ad banner on it. Everytime someone visited that page the guy made money, even more if the visitor clicked on the ad banner. The danger of a scam like this is that as people begin to catch on, they will be less trusting of legitimate sites that have an honest message. So they will likely NOT trust those legitimate sites.

10. That is not all folks, it gets even worse. Con artists on the net are finding better ways to make money off the gullibility of well meaning people. The latest scam is online petitions. You are presented with some legitimate sounding cause and told that when a million people sign the petition, it will be presented to some organization or perhaps an elected official. Note: some of these petitions are real, but lately there have been petitions popping-up on the web with a more sinister purpose… they are collecting e-mail addresses to sell to spammers, often porn sites. So while you think you are being a good Netizen (internet citizen) by sending all your friends to sign an important petition, in fact you are helping some low life make a buck while getting your unsuspecting friends signed-up for a ton of unwanted junk e-mail, much of it of an adult nature. And once you are on those lists you can’t get off, responding with a “remove” message only informs them that they have a warm body at that e-mail address reading the spam, which increases the value of their list. A list of people who will actually open spam e-mail and respond to it is a valuable commodity which will be sold from spammer to spammer. The “fresher” the list is the more it’s worth. Hence the fake “petition” pages.

11. Email claims to be from PayPal asking you to confirm your account data by clicking on the link. You will be taken to a spoof login page where your details will be captured by the phishers. PayPal never send users emails requesting details in this way. URL of spoof website disguised as “Click here to activate your account”. Any email messages that may seem to come from a legitimate business source such as Ebay or Paypal, that asks you to “verify your account” and asks you for your password. Businesses do not ask you to verify your password, social security number or credit card information via email. Most often this is probably a phishing scam.

12. A Russian, Filipina, Asian or any women and men seeking online relationships. They will even talk to you online via webcam and will earn your trust but before they come to your country or meet you, they will ask for money and after that they got it from you, you will no longer contact you again. Beware of online “meat market”. There is nothing wrong with online relationships, but you should be more careful. Remember my story about Michael Roswell above?

13. The most common form of advance fee fraud is an e-mail message that claims that you have won a large sum of money, or that a person will pay you a large sum of money for little or no work on your part.

Advance fee fraud is also known as the Nigerian Letter or the 419 scam, because the scammer often claims to be from Nigeria and 419 is the Nigerian criminal code that this scam violates.
Here are a few examples of the most popular advance fee frauds:
A foreign government official would like your assistance in transferring funds and will pay you a hefty commission if you agree.

14. You stand to inherit millions of dollars from a relative you don’t remember.

15. You’ve won a prize or a lottery (perhaps one from a foreign country) that you don’t remember entering.

Warning signs and what to do with email and online scams and hoaxes:

1. Use spam filtering technology and keep unwanted emails out of your inbox by reporting them as spam.

2. Be suspicious of anything that shouts something like…“SEND THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW”.

3. Don’t make investment decisions based on anonymous e-mail or text messages you receive.

4. Anything that promises to make you rich and then asks for your credit card. DO NOT give out your credit card or Social Security Number when asked for it in an email message.

5. Don’t open attachments in unsolicited e-mails. Spams are usually sent as an image or as a PDF attachment.

6. Use an Internet service provider (ISP) or e-mail provider that has implemented Sender ID Framework, a technical solution to detect and block spoofed e-mail. All of the latest versions of Microsoft e-mail software support this technology.

7. If in doubt with the person, company or links, type in and Google the website. Do not click on the links asking you for personal information.

8. Legitimate people, e-mails and web sites provide ways to contact the author, writer or webmaster. At the bottom of this page you will find my e-mail address. I will stand behind what I publish on this blog or website and will make corrections if an error is pointed out. Scam artists on the other hand, hide their identities, they fear being tracked down. Just having an e-mail address doesn’t guarantee the writer is honest, free e-mail addresses are easy to come by, but if you find a site that offers no hint of the author or way to contact him/her, then be very suspicious.

9. If an e-mail or web site claims to represent some large, well known institution, then how will you know if it is really from them? For example, if an e-mail claims to be on the behalf of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, does the return address reflect that? Most of the large institutions now have web sites and their own domain names. Likewise, if you see a web page that claims to speak on behalf of the POEA, is it hosted as part of POEA’s web domain (in this case: http://www.poea.gov.ph/)? If instead it is hosted by a free service like Gmail, Yahoo, GeoCities or Xoom, or Hotmail, then watch out, because it probably isn’t from who it claims to be.

10. Do not forward unnecessary emails, if the e-mail claims that it is being “tracked?” This is a sure sign of a hoax since e-mail can not be reliably tracked. Rather than helping some poor soul when you forward one of these message, you are in reality wasting precious Internet bandwidth, which in the long run COSTS all of us.

Have fun online and remember, before you forward that next chain letter, take a moment to see if it is true. Most are hoaxes and some are even hurtful. The Internet is a powerful tool for spreading information and whatever is good, but like any tool, it can cause damage if not used responsibly. So check before you forward, it only takes a few minutes.

I can’t leave this email/blog post without talking about bad money relationships. Please hear me when I say that “there are some money that’s not worth having” and it’s not about the actual cash or monetary value, but it’s about the person giving it to you and the means of getting it. If you think you have sold your soul by doing business with these people, then trust your guts and retreat. Business people are always trying to hook up with other business people, for the most part, this works in everyone’s favor. Facilitating introductions, great meetings and networks. But all of these are not free. It might come as an utang na loob (gratitude) for which you have to pay back sooner or later. But it does not take long to identify whose referrals you want and whose you really cannot afford to have.

There are money relationships that you do not want to go near and will cost you in the end. Trust your instincts and your gut. A healthy respect for people blended with a bit (a bit lang ha?) of paranoia is probably a good recipe for staying safe, sound and secure.

Be safe and even if there are wolves among the sheeps, trust but be selective. Just because there are wolves out there, does not mean its not ever safe. Do not throw the baby out of the bath water or sink the ship because of the rats. Do your homework and ask for advise from trusted sources.

by Eunice Estipona

You can email me at yunesa@yahoo.com

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